Elantris, the former capital of Arelon, has fallen from grace in a most spectacular way. The new capital, Kae, is located in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives here to discover not only that her betrothed, Prince Raoden, is dead, but also that the terms of her marriage contract make her his widow.

What Sarene doesn't know is that Raoden isn't dead, he's been struck by the same curse that destroyed Elantris and has been permanently exiled to the fallen city. Raoden's struggle to help himself and his fellow exiles sets off a chain of events that will change Arelon forever.

In this stunning debut novel, Sanderson has created a completely unique world that enfolds the reader in mystery and wonder right through till the last page. Sarene and Raoden are compelling characters, and it's wonderful to see a strong female heroine who doesn't compromise her integrity. (May, 512 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs